Skip to main content

The BITSAVERS.ORG Documents Library: Scientific Data Systems

Scientific Data Systems, or SDS, was an American computer company founded in September 1961 by Max Palevsky, a veteran of Packard Bell and Bendix, along with eleven other computer scientists. SDS was an early adopter of integrated circuits in computer design and the first to employ silicon transistors. The company concentrated on larger scientific workload focused machines and sold many machines to NASA during the Space Race. Most machines were both fast and relatively low priced. The company was sold to Xerox in 1969, but mismanagement and dwindling sales caused Xerox to close the division in 1975 at a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. During the Xerox years the company was officially Xerox Data Systems, or XDS.

Throughout the majority of the 1960s the US computer market was dominated by Snow White (IBM) and the Seven Dwarves, NCR, Burroughs, Control Data Corporation, General Electric, Honeywell, RCA and UNIVAC. SDS entered this well developed market and soon carved out their own niche, a surprising development. Much of this success was due to the use of silicon-based transistors in their earliest designs, the 24-bit SDS 910 and SDS 920 which included a hardware (integer) multiplier. These are arguably the first commercial systems based on silicon, which offered much better performance for no real additional cost. Additionally the SDS machines shipped with a selection of software, notably a FORTRAN compiler, developed by Digitek, that made use of the systems' Programmed OPeratorS (POPS), and could compile, in 4K 24-bit words, programs in a single pass without the need for magnetic tape secondary storage. For scientific users writing small programs, this was a real boon and dramatically improved development turnaround time.

The 910 and 920 were supplanted by the SDS 9300, announced in June 1963. Among other changes, the 9300 included a floating point processor for higher performance. The performance increase was dramatic, the 910/920 needed 16 microseconds to add two 24-bit integers, the 9300 only 1.75, almost 10 times as fast. The 9300 also increased maximum memory from 16 kWords to 32 kWords. Although its instruction format resembled that of the earlier machines, it was not compatible with them.

In December 1963 SDS announced the SDS 930, a major re-build of the 9xx line using ICs in the central processor. It was comparable to the 9300 in basic operations, but was generally slower overall due to the lack of the 9300's memory interlace capability and hardware floating point unit (although a hardware floating point "correlation and filtering unit" was available as an expensive option). The 930 cost less than half that of the original 9300, at about $105,000. Cut-down versions of the 920 also followed, including the 12-bit SDS 92, and the IC-based 925.

Project Genie developed a segmentation and relocation system for time sharing use at the University of California, Berkeley resulting in the SDS 940. It had additional hardware for relocation and swapping of memory sections, and interruptible instructions. The 940 would go on to be a major part of Tymshare's circuit-switched network system growth in the 1960s (pre-ARPAnet and before packet-switching). A 945 was announced in July 1968 as a modified 940 with less I/O and the same compute power, but it is unclear whether this shipped.[3] In December 1966 SDS shipped the entirely new Sigma series, starting with the 16-bit Sigma 2 and the 32-bit Sigma 7, both using common hardware internally. The success of the IBM System/360 and the rise of the 7-bit ASCII character standard was pushing all vendors to the 8-bit standard from their earlier 6-bit ones. SDS was one of the first companies to offer a machine intended as an alternative to the IBM System/360; although not compatible with the 360, it used similar data formats, the EBCDIC character code, and in other ways, such as its use of multiple registers rather than an accumulator, it was designed to have specifications that were comparable to those of the 360. Various versions of the Sigma 7 followed, including the cut-down Sigma 5 and re-designed Sigma 6. The Xerox Sigma 9 was a major re-design with instruction lookahead and other advanced features, while the Sigma 8 and Sigma 9 mod 3 were low-end machines offered as a migration path for the Sigma 5. Meanwhile, the French national champion CII, as licencee of SDS, sold about 60 Sigma 7 in Europe, and developed an upgrade with virtual memory and biprocessor capability, Iris 80. CII also manufactured and sold some 160 Sigma 2. The Sigma range was very successful in the niche real-time processing field, due to the sophisticated hardware interrupt structure and independent I/O processor. The first node of ARPANET was established by Leonard Kleinrock at UCLA with an SDS Sigma 7 system. Even with these successes, when Xerox bought the company in 1969 they sold only about 1% of the computers in the US, something Xerox never seemed to improve. When they were purchased, about 1,000 SDS machines of all types were in the market, and by the time the division closed in 1975 this had increased to only about 2,100. By this point the newer Xerox 550 and 560 models, extensively re-designed Sigmas, were about to come to market and were extensively back ordered. Most rights were sold to Honeywell in July, 1975 who produced Sigmas for a short period, and provided support into the 1980s.

Several manufacturers attempted to enter the Sigma 9 replacement market. The first successful design was the Telefile T-85, but it is not clear how many were sold. Other efforts, including the Modutest Model 9, Ilene Model 9000 and Real-time RCE-9 were designed, but it is not clear if they were ever produced past the prototype stage.

Original from Wikipedia

438
RESULTS
rss


PART OF
The BITSAVERS.ORG Documents Library
Additional Collections
Media Type
438
texts
Year
3
1982
2
1979
6
1978
1
1977
7
1976
54
1975
More right-solid
Topics & Subjects
122
program
113
data
96
file
88
user
77
command
71
address
More right-solid
Collection
Language
438
English
SHOW DETAILS
up-solid down-solid
eye
Title
Date Published
Creator
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901523C Sigma5 CPU Diag AUTO Mar69
Topics: data, ffffffff, cfc, fffffffc, fffffffe, oooooooo, cpu, aoo, sigma, cccccccc, ffffffff ffffffff,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: lang :: 900065C 900 4K FORTRAN II Tech Jan65
Topics: bru, sta, lda, exit, hlt, char, temp, bci, list, scan, sta xlate, input char, char cnt, bool bool,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma7 :: 901746A Sigma5 7 Troubleshooting Hbk Feb71
Topics: cpu, byte, miop, sets, data, status, decimal, memory, interrupt, phase, phase sequence, bits bits,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901678A Sigma5 7 Comprehensive RAD Tester Jan70
Topics: test, data, memory, byte, address, lbad, xds, errbr, oata, addr, operation operand, prot key,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 902306C Sigma 5 CPU Engineering Support Manual Vol 1 Dec71
Topics: xerox, eth, data, systems, type, sigma, cpu, pins, flags, nff, xerox data, data systems, tag type,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870041-51A Unit 19 F Channel Disc May69
Topics: bcd, test, brm, bru, disc, sta, data, lda, channel, nop, disc file, object test, perform test,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 900898A FLOAT 704046A00 Mar68
Topics: oooooooo, pll, data, pio, ffffffff, clk, oocooooo, aaaaaaaa, ocoooooo, oooooooo oooooooo, pll pll,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: CP-V listing revD00B sep75 :: rbatm
Topics: equ, data, eou, sep, hoi, tmpstk, mol, bne, baz, ecu, data data, eou eou, extended display, equ...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: CP-V listing revD00B sep75 :: tel
Topics: hoi, sep, fgu, data, def, text, cmnd, syntax, fqu, command, text text, fgu fgu, command verb, set...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: usersGroup :: UsersGroupPgmLibrList 1979
Topics: program, author, abstract, sigma, source, description, thf, printed, comments, cards, description...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: CP-V listing revD00B sep75 :: edit
Topics: sep, baljlnk, hoi, data, seq, textc, cdt, exit, set, ecu, exit hoi, cdt entry, baljlnk data, data...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901523E Sigma5 CPU Diag AUTO Feb70
Topics: data, memory, ffffffff, oooooooo, xds, operand, prot, mem, rel, abs, prot key, operation operand,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 901674F CP-V B00 System Management Ref Mar74
Topics: command, user, device, oooooooo, processor, control, file, batch, error, system, oooooooo oooooooo,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: programLibrary :: 900 SeriesProgramLibrary
Topics: bru, oct, lda, sta, pze, program, catalog, brm, ldx, bci, oct oct, pze pze, uklmnbpqrstuvwx yzo,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: tymshare :: Tymshare 940 Monitor Jun72
Topics: lda, bru, sta, brm, ldx, pac, etr, rup, brr, tym, rup rup, tym tym, pac pac, brm trap, flag flag,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870037-51A Unit 15 W RAD Feb69
Topics: brm, adrs, error, sector, nop, test, return, logic, lda, object, sector adrs, logic error, adrs...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870039-51A Unit 23 CTE 10 11 Feb69
Topics: channel, test, brm, activate, deactivate, sta, object, pbt, wbrd, cte, activate channel, deactivate...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870036-51A Unit 12 E RAD Feb69
Topics: brm, nop, adrs, error, test, sector, return, object, bru, logic, sector adrs, logic message, test...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 903113B-2 CP-V System Programming Ref Sep78
Topics: user, error, command, device, processor, address, byte, program, specifies, system, error log,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-r :: 90 30 88c CP-R Feb77
Topics: entry, file, byte, task, address, command, control, device, module, entries, load module, sequence...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: periph :: 901029A RADtechManual
Topics: sds, signal, controller, memory, unit, data, clock, clk, signals, rad memory, selection unit, rad...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 901172A Sigma5 Technical Man Sep68
Topics: memory, clock, set, signal, address, sds, instruction, sequence, phase, enable signal, private...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870033-51A Unit 3 Mem 2nd 16K Feb69
Topics: brm, set, return, nop, test, trap, object, error, sta, bit, relabeling register, parity return,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: Xerox Program Availability List May75
Topics: program, sigma, xerox, binary, description, printed, cards, diagnostic, source, fortran,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870035-51A Unit 5 Mem 4th 16K Feb69
Topics: brm, set, return, nop, test, trap, object, error, bcd, bit, relabeling register, parity return,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 910 :: 900551C 910 Schematic Apr66
Topics: pin, loc, computer, logic, mfg, chg, rel, conn, locator, circuit, conn circuit, pin logic, logic...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 900893 Sigma 7 SUFFIX 704045-11P1
Topics: data, pze, ffffffff, oooooooo, fmt, fffffffo, fofofofo, pswl, instruction, vmtrch, data data,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 930 :: 900020E 930 ProgrammedOpsTechMan Jul65
Topics: data, bru, precision, xab, sds, ldx, sta, exponent, catalog, floating, double precision, data data,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 900872 Sigma7 AUTO 704044B00 Mar69
Topics: oooooooo, data, pio, oooooooi, pii, ffffffff, sigma, pll, fffffffe, oooooooo oooooooo, oooooooi...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870038-51A Unit 21 W DISC Feb69
Topics: bcd, bru, brm, test, disc, data, sta, nop, channel, lda, disc file, object test, perform object,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870030-51A Unit 0 CPU Test Feb69
Topics: brm, bru, object, bcd, nop, cpuo, ida, trap, ske, error, object test, brm error, brm object, set...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 902306C Sigma 5 CPU Engineering Support Manual Vol 2 Dec71
Topics: xds, source, signal, data, xerox, systems, drawing, pin, elem, nff, data systems, xerox data,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 901995D-3 databaseTech Sep78
Topics: jit, file, address, user, manual, byte, technical, error, device, record, technical manual, disk...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: periph :: 900685C TMCC TechMan
Topics: channel, interlace, sds, program, output, eom, buffer, signal, input, character, word count, test...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: diagnostic :: 900097B ExaminerDiagnosticVol1 Sep65
Topics: program, oooooooo, error, catalog, breakpoint, mode, test, record, memory, mode switch, oooooooo...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: periph :: 901565A-1 Extended Performance RAD Tech Jun70
Topics: data, signal, phase, xds, iop, order, fam, controller, signals, selection unit, service cycle, fam...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma8 :: 901749A SIGMA8 Ref Man Jan71
Topics: instruction, address, memory, byte, interrupt, trap, code, condition, doubleword, condition code,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 903113A-1 CP-V C01 System Programming Ref May75
Topics: user, error, command, device, processor, address, byte, system, program, specifies, error log,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 900907H CP-V timesharingRef Sep78
Topics: command, file, user, specifies, terminal, output, edit, commands, input, device, load module,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901134C Sigma5 7 Interrupt Test Feb69
Topics: interrupt, test, february, data, sigma, interrupts, address, program, deleated, levels, interrupt...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 900870D Sigma5 7 Diag Verify Nov69
Topics: set, extern, wait, halt, xds, xpsd, error, errbr, data, memory, check ability, xpsd xpsd, extern...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: CP-V listing revD00B sep75 :: altcp
Topics: rff, cal, hoi, sep, user, rrf, equ, entry, tstack, eou, entry entry, rrf rrf, mask mask, rrf rff,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 8471 IOP Logic Equations
Topics: equations, california, logic, pins, code, santa, scientific, systems, data, chg, data systems,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: 16-bit :: 530 :: 901960B Xerox 530 Reference Sep73
Topics: field, instruction, interrupt, contents, device, memory, effective, address, overflow, interrupt...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 903113B CP-V D00 System Programming Ref Nov75
Topics: user, command, error, device, processor, address, byte, specifies, program, system, error log,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: olds :: 870032-51A Unit 2 FloatingPoint Feb69
Topics: brm, ska, nop, error, bcd, sta, fpau, loa, bru, clock, brm error, clock mode, brm object, brm...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 910 :: 900008D 910 RefMan Feb70
Topics: buffer, instruction, interrupt, tape, memory, contents, eom, location, program, magnetic tape, tape...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: tymshare :: Tymshare Monitor Jul67
Topics: bru, sta, brm, lda, equ, ldx, etr, brr, ida, ske, equ equ, data data, brm trapb, entry entry, equ...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma7 :: 901060B Sigma7cpTech Nov72
Topics: memory, signal, xds, instruction, address, clock, set, phase, phi, private memory, phase sequence,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 901995D databaseTech Feb76
Topics: jit, file, address, manual, byte, user, technical, device, error, record, technical manual, disk...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: 900640A 940 RefMan Aug66
Topics: instruction, channel, interrupt, memory, address, program, location, word, tape, bit position, word...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma7 :: 657610 Sigma7cpuNotes Jan67
Topics: phi, signals, performed, function, comments, fasta, involved, phase, axs, phs, function performed,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 920 :: 900029E 910 920 ReferenceDrawings Apr66
Topics: ohms, input, resistor, output, module, volt, gate, diode, supply, sds, volt supply, scientific...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: programLibrary :: 900 SeriesProgramLibary 1979
Topics: author, xerox, abstract, xds, cards, source, thf, oso, oao, binary, author xerox, source cards,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 600P81036 Sigma5-9 Diagnostics
Topics: error, test, byte, status, mode, tdv, controller, order, tio, data, status error, test mode, byte...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: 5xx :: 903076A 560ref Jan74
Topics: instruction, address, memory, byte, interrupt, processor, control, code, condition, condition code,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: 5xx :: 903077A 550ref Feb74
Topics: instruction, address, memory, interrupt, processor, control, condition, status, trap, basic...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 900909A DPintroMantTraining
Topics: core, instruction, octal, binary, figure, memory, address, operation, decimal, logical, reset add,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: lang :: 901931C APL Jun75
Topics: apl, function, user, workspace, error, command, input, file, vector, functions, apl system, active...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901540C Extended Performance RAD Diag Nov69
Topics: data, xds, address, memory, operand, prot, equ, error, contents, mem, operation operand, operand...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 930 :: 900066C 930 Technical Manual Feb66
Topics: memory, phase, instruction, contents, sds, parity, address, signal, interrupt, central processor,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 940 :: tymshare :: TymshareFortranSrc
Topics: bru, sta, exit, lda, sbrm, jrs, ext, list, ida, temp, sta xlate, bru bru, bru exit, char cnt, input...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: btm :: 901741A BPM BTM System Management Dec71
Topics: file, monitor, user, locct, control, system, batch, command, processor, load, control command, load...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 657511 Sigma5cpuNotes Jan68
Topics: signals, performed, function, phi, preset, comments, involved, fprr, cpu, function performed,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 901586A Sigma 5 and 7 Core Memory Technical Manual Feb70
Topics: module, port, memory, xds, address, assy, expander, signal, core, signals, port expander, core...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma6 :: 901713B Sigma 6 Reference Man Jun71
Topics: instruction, address, byte, memory, decimal, code, doubleword, condition, interrupt, condition...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901648B Sigma5 7 Stand Alone Sys Exerciser Feb70
Topics: data, xds, memory, oata, operand, prot, mem, abs, rel, contents, prot key, operation operand,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma7 :: 900950G Sigma7 RefMan Oct69
Topics: instruction, address, byte, memory, decimal, code, condition, doubleword, interrupt, condition...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: periph :: 900647B MAGPAK TechManual
Topics: tape, sds, unit, control, logic, signal, write, magpak, buffer, harvey register, tape control,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: CP-V listing revD00B sep75 :: rdwrt
Topics: buffer, rdwrt, data, lci, fqu, byte, ans, bne, fpt, sep, buffer address, data data, write fpt, rec...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: sigma5 :: 902309C Sigma 5 Floating Point Feature Engineering Support Manual Dec71
Topics: xerox, nff, systems, source, data, eth, pin, signal, xds, sigma, data systems, xerox data, systems...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: diag :: 901572C Sigma5 7 Memory Env Test Jun70
Topics: data, extekn, xds, test, oooooooo, memory, address, operand, prot, mem, prot key, operation...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: sigma :: cp-v :: 901674H-2 CP-V System Management Ref Sep78
Topics: command, user, device, control, batch, system, processor, specifies, default, file, control...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: 930 :: 900066C 930 TechRef Feb66
Topics: memory, phase, instruction, contents, sds, parity, address, signal, interrupt, central processor,...
From the bitsavers.org collection, a scanned-in computer-related document. sds :: 9xx :: diagnostic :: 900097A ExaminerDiagnosticVol1 Sep64
Topics: oct, bru, novflo, noskip, bpt, oooooooo, lda, overflow, ldx, sta, oct oct, bru novflo, bru noskip,...